That Night in Roswell

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Being a desert dweller is quite an awesome and unique experience once you fully embrace it. To be camped out in the arid late night air with the sound of coyote howls off in the distance makes you feel so connected to nature. The silence can be deafening and the absolute solitude and loss of mankind makes your brain go to other plains of existence. Looking at the mountains in their splendor, standing tall and imposing as they have for the ages and humbling you with magnificence. In some ways it is almost an out of body experience.

I am by nature a very curious person. I can’t help it. It is almost an infliction. So as I had always had the curiosity of seeing Roswell, New Mexico, a few years back I had the opportunity. I can tell you now that the town itself is very nice. Clean and well kept. The people are friendly enough. However my quest was for the aliens. I wanted to see aliens, evidence, something. In that I was sorely disappointed. There were a myriad of tourist shops selling plastic trinkets and bumper stickers. Everything in the town is geared toward aliens. But no actual aliens.

Being less than impressed I decided to spend the night and chalk this one up as a lesson well learned. I checked into a small motel and upon arrival asked the management where a good small local restaurant would be, and a quiet little neighbor bar. Turns out both were in one just around the corner. As I went in I would suppose here were a half dozen locals and everyone seemed pretty jovial. I ordered a taco plate and a beer and settled in. It wasn’t long before a few of the locals and I began a conversation and the beer was flowing. As I listened politely and responded to their questions I kept pondering the whole trip up to this point.

Naturally the discussion eventually led to the supposed alien landing back in the 1940s and everyone had a different opinion. Some thought it was real, some thought it was a trick to drum up tourist business, some thought in their words it was a bunch of hooey. The barkeep asked what I thought. As I drained the last of that beer I leaned forward and said, “We’re already here.” She looked just a bit nervous and told the rest of the crowd what I had said. One fella at the end of the bar asked what I had meant. I told him we are the aliens. Everything in and on earth came from out there. Every rock, every breath of air, water, everything living thing came from out there.

They appeared to be digesting what I had just said. A couple looked at me as though I had lost my mind. It was in a collective moment that they seemed to relish they idea. One guy said he could buy that and proudly proclaimed, “Hell yeah, we’re all aliens.” At that point the bar went in to a kind of collective fiesta at the prospect we are aliens. With that the barkeep suggested another beer for all. Of course I couldn’t turn down the hospitality, that would not have been right. The rest of the evening was devoted to a hearty discussion of everything from the evolution of the universe to wondering if there was a possibility of life elsewhere. Before we knew it closing time arrived and we all bid our farewells with hand shakes and hugs.

The next day as I came back I was lost in the thought of all people in the bar. Of their opinions and the things they said. Roswell it turns out wasn’t a bust after all. I had a great dinner. Shared some drinks. Best of all I hung out with fellow aliens. I kind of felt like Captain Kirk for a moment.


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